Proud parents of the groom. Ben and Kristen's wedding 2008
Historical John Wesley Love home in Jacksonville, our home 1981-1982
Retirement for Joe after 52 years in the oil industry
Recipe box Joe made for me our first Christmas 1964, Corvallis, Oregon
Our 3 little boys and their Gingerbread House 1973
Reminders of our life in Jakarta, Indonesia (at my talk to the children at Shady Oak Christian School)
Angel and Bella
Our antique rose in the garden on Greenhaven. Getting ready to plant some here.
Tickets from so many performances, games, concerts.
Our wedding group. December 28, 1963
Our mission statement for our Sugar Land house, working on one for our home with B&K in Richmond.
Homeward Bound. A magnolia leaf.
Joe and me as Jacob and Rachel, innkeepers for so many years in Experiencing Christmas, FBC Richmond.
Snowflakes we cut for our first Christmas tree in Oregon.
So many happy times in the porch swing together and with our granddaughters.
Today, many lovely weddings are planned at least a year in advance, with many decisions and projects involved. The stress, as well as the cost, can rise to uncomfortable levels. Someone asked me just this week about the issues involved with having a Christmastime wedding, with so many other things on the calendar, and subsequent years when the anniversary might be eclipsed in all the Christmas celebration. It is true, our anniversary falls 3 days after Christmas and our celebrations have not been lavish (other than the beautiful 50th-anniversary dinner given to us by our family) - but I would not change anything. I love Christmas - the meaning, the music, the colors, the family gathering. That translates so very well into the marriage celebration. We decided to have our wedding in October, only a little over 2 months before it happened! We chose to keep costs to a minimum and meaning to maximum. I made my wedding gown, sewing in between studying for nursing finals, and bringing the last pearls to sew on the lace train for Mother to help. I laugh when I tell you I crafted my pillbox (a la Jacquelyn Kennedy) hat that held my veil from the end of an Oatmeal box, covered in satin and pearls and made a puffy muff to hold my small bouquet. Bridesmaids wore cranberry faille coat dresses with white organdy collars and carried a single candle with a tiny nosegay of white flowers. We used a bank of green magnolia leaves from a wedding held the day before instead of flower arrangements in the church, and our reception was in the fellowship hall where punch, cake, nuts, and buttermints were on the table. We had no honeymoon, choosing instead to drive back to Oklahoma City in a snow storm the day after a night in a motel in Dallas. We had school for me and a job hunt for Joe to get back to. And it was thrilling and wonderful and the most beautiful time and place and way to get married.
Yes, it makes me smile to think of the beginning, but oh, the memories all through these years. This is what makes me weep and smile at the same time. The years have brought so much happiness and fullness. Faith, yes. fLove, yes. Friendship, yes. Hard work, yes. Sad times, yes. Laughter, oh yes. Three of the finest sons any parents could possibly have. And now the women they chose who are our daughters. Grandchildren, and more love. Pride, yes. Loss, yes. Stretching, yes. Tragedy and pain, yes, that too. Perseverance, without doubt. Glorious joy, yes. Contentment, yes. Illness, yes. Hope, then, and now.
I chose a few random photos that are markers for me of a life and work together, of love.